article2 by marcusjames


									How to write a professional summary for your resume

In today’s competitive job market, employers relay on well-written
resumes to screen potential candidates. In many instances, employers look
through job search web sites, such as or, to find
professionals with skills, education and experience that fit their needs.
These employment search web sites, along with many companies’ own online
applications, require candidates to upload their resume in order to
express interest in a specific opportunity. Without an opportunity to
send a personal email, or a cover letter, you have to make sure that your
resume expresses your personality in addition to listing your
professional and educational experiences and achievements. To do so, you
can include a professional profile or summary at the beginning of your
resume that allows you to market yourself through a narrative. This
section allows your potential employers to learn something unique about
you and your career, as well as get a good feel of your communication

To write an effective summary, you should first understand what
information should not be communicated in your resume. While a summary
provides an insight into what is unique and competitive about you, it is
not a place for you to indicate any personal information that does not
relate to your career. Information such as ethnicity, marital status,
sexual orientation, religious beliefs and affiliations, etc. should be
left out of your resume. While descriptive of who you are, this
information is not relevant to your potential employer in order to pre-
screen your qualifications for their opportunity. Additionally, the
summary should not contain your previous professional experience, unless
you can clearly demonstrate how such background can be of value in your
future career development. Beware of generic statements, such as “I am
well organized and detail oriented.” Employers want to hear your unique
voice and get a sense of your communication skills while reading the
summary portion of your resume. Using generalizations about your
abilities will make the employers believe that you are either a poor
communicator or are using such statements to fill up space on your

Your summary should be in form of a short paragraph or bulleted
statements, containing only several sentences. There isn’t a sentence
limit, but as a rule do not take up more than one quarter of the page.
Your summary should begin by a headline that summarizes your professional
title and/or your professional statement. Emphasize your title by
featuring the headline in bold and larger font, as it allows your
potential employer to grasp who you are quickly. For example:

Financial Planning Professional
Achieved Double-Digit Return for All Clients through Well-Balanced
Financial Portfolios

It is important that this title is well crafted, as it is the first
impression your potential employer will have of you.

There are three things a well-written summary should address:
-     Your experiences and skills as they relate to your idea job
-     What you can bring to the organization and the open position that
no other candidate can
-     Your professional goals.

Even though your resume summary is written by you, it should be composed
in third person, in present tense. Think of it as a summary of what one
of your best colleagues would say about your professional achievements.
Reinforce your title, and sell only the experiences and skills that meet
your career objective. If you have multiple career objectives, such as
you wish to get a position in either marketing or public relations,
develop separate resume summaries for each of the objectives. A summary
can also contain a brief bulleted section highlighting only a few vital
competitive skills that you bring to the table. An example of an
effective summary would be as follows:

Successful financial planning professional with over 15 years of personal
and retirement planning experience. Managed a small financial planning
firm, achieving double-digit financial returns for all clients by
developing personalized investment portfolios. Leader in development and
professional growth of four other financial planners in the firm through
effective and motivating mentoring strategies.

Key competencies include:
o     Personalized portfolio development
o     Financial forecasting
o     Retirement portfolio management
o     Development on-going professional growth strategies

Much like your overall resume, your summary should be well-written and
error-free. Make sure to review your summary, and customize as necessary
for the various opportunities of interest. An effective summary will help
you “hook” your employer; it should sell you as a primary candidate for
the job, leaving your employer with a great first impression of you.

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